A few things I learned while at 1234 Festival (And Lovebox)

1) There IS a Shoreditch Park.

But ask me to how to get there and I’ll only be able to provide this: “We started off in Hoxton Square, then….ehrm..yeah.” Just don’t allow my sense of direction to guide you, and trust that there definitely was an ample area of green. Six hectares of green. For you international lot, that means nothing, but indulge me some humour and imagine yourself in a semi-derelict/fairly regenerated neighbourhood loitered by most walks of life (though weighing heavily on artsy fartsy beauts wanting their post code to reflect their creativity, and then some). In this Hackney Bubble the park of choice is usually London Fields or Victoria Park. Furthermore, there are loads of buildings, boutiques, cafes or kickin’ bars that run (a street or two away) parallel to the outskirts of Shoreditch Park. So whoddathunk there’d be six hectares of space for several of us jokers to dance, smoke, drink, eat and generally run amok??

The sun was beaming* the beers a-flowin’ and the music commanding. Having just reminisced how mega Offset Festival 2010 was, the BFFs and I were craving a similar atmosphere. Shoreditch’s 1234 replicated something pretty close to how supreme it was on that first day of Offset: Dancing, smoking cigs, sipping beers and just feeling aces, all around. Featuring over 50 bands of ‘Future Rock and Roll and Electronic Action,’ I thought I’d at least try to see the Black Lips at 1234, alas our dance tendencies led us away from the Noisey main stage and into the throes of the Bad Life dance tent. We entered the flimsy flaps to shake some of our moneymakers to Autokratz, Zombie Nation, and the dude I dug, Arnaud Rebotini.

2) You can’t judge a book by its cover. Just because all you see are beefy shoulders, a handlebar moustache, and a stern-as-fuck face doesn’t mean he can’t make you thrust those hips. It just came as a bit of a surprise. Later I learned he was French, and well, obviously, right?

3) As a self-proclaimed carnivore (put it on my tombstone), I learned that weekend that I can, indeed, tolerate a veggie burger. It was delightful.

4) Zombie Nation can be good in either festival or club settings. He finished his set at 1234 with something stinging your nerves, demanding another hit. But, of course, that was when 1234 and its Bad Life Dance tent had drawn to a close. Because Fortuna was on our party side, the 1234 wristbands got us into XOYO well ahead of our bedtime. Dance we did to (lo and behold) Zombie Nation. It was a good set, then followed was Autokratz’ opening with the haunting intro of Caribou’s Odessa. It failed to hold the interest of some on the floor but that’s fine because it made more room for us. The drop that pursued sent our shoulders, hips, arms and feet into a whirlwind. All enjoyable….until we neared the end and noted the tracks getting a bit too Euro-cheese. Au revoir, we said, and scurried home.

*= well, beaming as much as it can over the UK

MEANWHILE: Things I learned from Sunday’s Lovebox session:

1) Nothing…that I can really remember. I had a whale of a time, and I am paying for it dearly now. Helping my Lovebox hangover a notch is this mix that has nothing to do with Lovebox, but it soothes the pain. (Gomma Podcast 47) It’s eclectic and emotional.

2) Oh wait. I remember now: BOOK THE MONDAY OFF FOLLOWING A WEEKEND FESTIVAL otherwise you feel like a moron writhing in pain.




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